Students

Activities

Play the Black Hole Hunter Game

Can you hear the gravitational wave signal of two black holes colliding? (Cardiff University, Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow and Southampton in the UK in collaboration with the Albert Einstein Institute and Milde Marketing in Germany)

Play the Space Time Quest Game

You are the principal investigator (PI) of an interferometric gravitational wave observatory like LIGO. You select the location for your detector and design it to fit within the budget for your project. At the end of the game, you turn on your detector and look for gravitational waves. The deeper into space you can detect gravitational waves, the higher your score (and you can compare your score against others' high scores). (Gwoptics group at the University of Birmingham, UK)

Play the Black Hole Pong Game

This is a new take on the classic game "Pong" except instead of paddles, you use black holes to gravitationally move and sling a mass into your opponent's half of the screen. Every time the mass enters your opponent's space, you score a point. This is currently a 2 player only game (you can't play against the computer yet) and you can even use your Xbox controllers! (Gwoptics group at the University of Birmingham, UK)

Play the Slingshot Game

The goal of this strategy game is to shoot your opponent's spacecraft on the opposite side of the screen. However, there are planets in between that attract your projectile gravitationally (they warp space-time) deflecting it from a straight path (the game name of Slingshot refers to the fact that stars, planets and moons can be used as a gravitational slingshot to speed up spacecrafts or other masses - NASA used this to get the astronauts from Apollo 13 back to Earth when they were low on fuel). The strategy is to account for these deflections and still destroy your opponent's spacecraft. This 2 player game can be very addictive! (RIT Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation)

Operate LIGO

Take the controls of a virtual gravitational wave interferometer. (American Museum of Natural History)

An Interactive Virtual Tour of LIGO

An up-close view of LIGO's facilities. (American Museum of Natural History)

Other Resources

Scienceface.org
Learn more about black holes and the scientists that study them. Scientists from around the world are interviewed by a young musician.

The "Other Physics Resources" page has a collection of activities that are interest, including an interview of a prominent gravitational wave scientist (Dr. Kip Thorne) by kids!

Sounds of Spacetime -- This site contains a detailed exploration of gravitational-wave "sounds."

Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
The LIGO Laboratory offers REU summer internships at Caltech and at the Hanford and Livingston Observatories.

UF International REU program
The University of Florida offers REU internships at gravitational wave research centers around the world.

UTRGV REU program
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley offers research experiences in gravitational wave detection (LIGO) and other areas including astrophysics, lasers and photonics, and radio and optical astronomy.

LSU REU program
Louisiana State University offers REU internships in Physics and Astronomy including gravitational wave detection (LIGO), numerical relativity, and general relativity.

University of Minnesota REU program
The REU at the University of Minnesota, School of Physics and Astronomy covers all areas of physics including gravitational wave detection, and observational and theoretical astrophysics.

NSERC undergraduate student research awards
In Canada, the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) funds undergraduate student research awards (USRAs). Opportunities for work in gravitational wave detection and LIGO are available.



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